Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Voyager 1 – Gas Giants and a Last Look Homeward
When a rare planetary alignment opened up the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 was sent forth. It observed the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn and their moons. At nearly 4 billion miles from the Sun, the probe turned and took one last picture of home before continuing its journey to the stars.
*The Year in Space desk calendars and wall calendars*
If you're looking for presents for anyone interested in astronomy or space – or as a treat for yourself – I recommend the Year in Space calendars. One is a desk calendar with great pictures and lots of space for notes and appointments. I've been buying the desk calendar for many years now and I love it. (I don't get a sales commission, by the way!) There is also a wall calendar which was a new idea last year. It looks superb - I wish I had the wall space for it. The Year In Space Wall Calendar was named "Science Geek Gift of the Year" by MSNBC's Cosmic Log website.
The basic price of each calendar is $12.95 (or equivalent in your currency), but you can save on multiple copies to the same address. Shipping is free in the USA, but not elsewhere. By the way, the recommended price is $16.95, but you'll see from the order form that anyone ordering can get $4 off – tell them a friend recommended it! Here's the link for the desk calendar http://www.yearinspace.com/desk-calendar and for the wall calendar http://www.yearinspace.com/wall-calendar.
*Comet ISON R.I.P.*
You've probably noticed that after all the excitement, Comet ISON did *not* survive its close encounter with the Sun on American Thanksgiving Day. We couldn't see it from Earth as it rounded the Sun, but it was observed by the Solar and Heliographic Observatory (SOHO) at various points. So much for the Comet of the Century!
*Venus and Jupiter*
Both Venus and Jupiter are shining very brightly in the evening sky. Venus appears bright at twilight in the west. You can see why people make so many UFO reports when Venus is bright. Jupiter is in Gemini later in the evening, also very bright. If you go to http://heavens-above.com you can get a sky chart for your location and see what's in the sky.
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I wish you clear skies.
Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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